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What is the difference of a free blog host and a paid blog hosting ?

So you want to create a blog ? There are basically two different types of blog hosting service that you can create your blog, one is through a free blog hosting provider and the other type is a paid blog hosting service. There are some difference between a free blog hosting provider and a paid blog hosting. To be safe, you should always check thoroughly the terms and conditions of a blog hosting service before signing up, especially when signing up with a free blog host.

Free Blog host considerations

Everybody love free thing, free service, but be careful not to fall into a candy trap ! You should keep in mind that three is no free lunch under the sun, those who offer something free usually gain something out of it, that means there is always some clause behind the free offer, below are some experience gathered from bloggers that has gone through the pain :-

No control over advertisement on your blog

You might initially just wanted a simple blog for yourself but who knows you might have got yourself a killer blog down the road ? A killer blog that can make you tons of money and retire earlier ! Sound great ? but sadly, your killer blog ended up channeling all the income to your free blog provider ! Why is that so ? because the advertisements real estate on your blog pages are actually term as the property of your free blog provider !

Not able to transfer blog content

Oh, never mind I can just transfer everything to a paid blog host ! but again, you might also find yourself in a situation that you do not have the option to transfer out the blog content because they are also consider the property of the free blog provider ! (consider that you might be term as a contracted writer to the free blog provider and you agree to surrender the content to the free blog provider upon exit of the service agreement). Therefore, you should be extra careful when signing up a service and be sure to check through the terms.

The result is your killer blog ended up being a money making zombie of the free blog host.

Paid Blog Hosting

What about paid blog host ? I can have total control over my blog, isn't it ? Well, that is true you can have control over your content and everything in your blog pages. But again, you should be careful not to fall into a marketing trap, likely those cheap hosting plans with HUGE resources (i.e. web space, bandwidth) offer will get your attention pretty fast. Beware of these offer, read through the terms and acceptable policy FIRST before signup !

Traffic Limitation

Nearly all cheap hosting plans give you TONs of bandwidth, but if you read the acceptable use policy carefully, there are some clause that you need to obey otherwise you might get your hosting account suspended without notice ! Sound scary ? yes it has happened and is still happening everyday. A blog can sometimes pickup huge traffic if there is an interesting post that caught the attention of blog readers, the 'digg' effect is one of those. Some cheap hosting provider that offer TONs of resources cannot afford to have server resources an already heavily loaded server being taken by a single popular blog, this will overflow the server and upset other hosting account holder in the same server. The solution ? suspend the popular blog ! can they do this ? yes, because it is written in the acceptable use policy that you must obey the traffic usage. All traffic going to your popular blog ended up finding your page not found.

Files Limitation

This is related to traffic bandwidth, we all know that multi media files are bigger than text files, cheap hosting provider knows them better, therefore they give you HUGE web space limit, but state in the acceptable use policy to restrict big files in the hosting account, this way you will never have a chance to even come close to the limit given.

If you are serious about creating a blog, choose a friendly and honest paid hosting provider, check through the acceptable use policy and double check again by sending a sales enquiry, you want your web hosting provider to help you succeed, not pulling you leg when you are about to move up.

Below is a general list of considerations of free blog host and paid blog hosting :-

Free Blog host

  • No fee required to setup the blog
  • Easy to signup and generally do not require much technical knowledge
  • Your blog pages may contain some advertising material that is set by your free blog host
  • You may not have your own domain name for your blog
  • Blog template are fixed and customization is not possible
  • Content is not transferable or backup

Paid Blog hosting

  • Require hosting recurring fee
  • May need some technical knowledge such as FTP, HTML, CSS etc. to setup the blog program
  • You blog is your own property and you can make any changes to it
  • Flexible customization, where you can extend your blog's functionality by adding wigets / addons contributed by the blog program community
  • Your own domain name
  • You can place your own advertising material in the blog to generate income if you want to
  • You can backup your entire blog and transfer elsewhere if you want to